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Ukrainian Competition Law Reform is Just Around the Corner

Ukraine

Last week, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine commenced a public discussion of strategic changes to Ukrainian competition law.

Sayenko Kharenko, Linklaters, Avellum, and Allen & Overy Advise on Metinvest USD 333 Million Eurobond Issue and Cash Tender Offer

Ukraine

Sayenko Kharenko and Linklaters have advised joint bookrunners Deutsche Bank, Natixis, IMI Intesa Sanpaolo, and Raiffeisen Bank International on Metinvest's new USD 333 million Eurobond issue. Allen & Overy and Avellum advised Metinvest.

Myths Shattered: 8 Misperceptions of Doing Business in Ukraine

Ukraine

Foreign investors often have misperceptions about doing business in Ukraine. Below, I debunk the 5 most common myths, as well as 3 more that reflect the most recent improvements in the business climate.

Coca Cola’s Compliance

Croatia

Earlier this month, the Croatian Competition Agency confirmed that Coca Cola HBC Hrvatska d.o.o. had complied with the commitments the company had offered, and which had been accepted by the CCA, in the course of an investigation of vertical restraints imposed by Coca Cola on its distributors (most notably exclusive purchasing and tying arrangements). Early on, the CCA expressed concern that Coca Cola’s practices would constitute infringements under Articles 8 and 13 of the Croatian Competition Act (essentially corresponding to Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

Go2Law, BDV, Wolf Theiss, and Babic & Partners Advise on Rohatyn Group's Acquisition of Optimapharm

Croatia

Go2Law and BDV advised Optimapharm founders Igor and Gordana Cicak and Wolf Theiss advised investor Mezzanine Management on the sale of Optimapharm to the Rohatyn Group. Babic & Partners, Taylor Wessing, and Nauta Dutilh advised the Rohatyn Group on the deal.

Croatian Implementation and Enforcement of GDPR: State of Play as at December 2019

Croatia

Following the adoption of the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC („GDPR“) on April 27, 2016, the Croatian GDPR Implementing Act („GDPR Act“) entered into force on May 25, 2018, simultaneously with the start of application of the GDPR.

Baker McKenzie Advises Embracer Group on Acquisition of Flying Wild Hog

Poland

The Warsaw office of Baker McKenzie has advised the Embracer Group on the acquisition of Polish game developer Flying Wild Hog from Supernova Capital. Sheridans reportedly advised the sellers on the deal.

Gessel and Baker McKenzie Advise on Polska Grupa Faraceutyczna’s Bond Issue

Poland

Gessel has advised the Haitong Bank as the issue organizer, dealer, calculation agent, and documentation agent on the PLN 150 million bond issue by Polska Grupa Farmaceutyczna. Baker McKenzie advised the issuer on the deal.

Clifford Chance and Baker McKenzie Advise on Apollo Funds' Investment in Sazka

Deals and Cases

Clifford Chance and Switzerland's Lenz & Staehelin have advised the KKCG AG investment company and pan-European lottery operator the Sazka Group on the EUR 500 million investment into the Sazka by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management. Baker McKenzie advised Apollo.

Voice-to-voice Marketing – Is There Any Need for Consent?

Romania

According to Recital (47) of the GDPR, processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be based on a legitimate interest (Art. 6 (1) letter f) of the GDPR). However, where direct marketing is performed through electronic means of communication, the special legislation becomes applicable, in particular, EU Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (the “E-privacy Directive”) implemented in the Romanian legislation under Law no. 506/2004 on processing of personal data and protection of private life in the electronic communications sector (the “E-privacy Law”).

Bondoc & Asociatii Advises Adient on Sale of Fabrics Business

Romania

Bondoc & Asociatii has reportedly advised Adient on the Romanian aspects of its global sale of its automotive fabrics manufacturing business, including its lamination business, to Sage Automotive Interiors, an Asahi Kasei company.

Elimination of Imbalance Price Restrictions Brings Negative Prices on the Romanian Balancing Market

Romania

September 2020 has brought negative prices for electricity on the Romanian balancing market (“BM”). How was this possible and what are the consequences?

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates, Karanovic & Partners, and Jadek & Pensa Advise on Pfizer Spin-Off and Merger with Mylan

Croatia

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has advised Pfizer on a global business combination with Mylan N.V. The transaction involved a spin-off of Pfizer’s Upjohn business and a subsequent merger of that business with Mylan N.V. to form a new global generics company, called "Viatris." Bird & Bird was global lead counsel to Pfizer, with Karanovic & Partners providing local support for Serbia and Jadek & Pensa providing local support in Slovenia. 

What Makes a Good Conference Great?

Legal Markets

Love them or hate them, conferences are a fundamental part of the successful commercial lawyer’s calendar. But time is precious. Those calendars are full. It’s vital for conference organizers to get them right, and critical for lawyers to choose wisely in determining which events to attend and which to skip.

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates Announces Launch of Pro Bono Covid-19 + Zagreb Earthquake Offering

Croatia

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has announced the launch of "Covid-19 + Zagreb Earthquake" pro bono project to help those affected by Covid-19 and/or the earthquake that rocked the Croatian capital on March 22, 2020.

CMS Advises Discovery Life Sciences on Acquisition of East West Biopharma

Ukraine

CMS has advised Discovery Life Sciences, a US-based bio-specimen, genomic sequencing, cell, and immunohistochemistry services firm, on its acquisition of East West Biopharma, a Ukraine-based human bio-specimen solutions organization.

CMS Helps PrimoCollect Obtain Regulatory Approval for Acquisition of Kredyt-Kapital

Ukraine

CMS has helped the PrimoCollect Group secure the approval of the National Bank of Ukraine for its acquisition of a substantial interest in the Kredyt-Kapital LLC financial institution. 

CMS and KPMG Law Advise on Plastic Omnium's Establishment of Joint Venture with ElringKlinger

Austria

CMS has advised Plastic Omnium on establishing a joint venture with ElringKlinger. In addition, Plastic Omnium acquired ElringKlinger’s Austrian subsidiary — ElringKlinger Fuelcell Systems Austria — for almost EUR 15 million. KPMG Law Germany and KPMG Law Austria Buchberger Ettmayer advised ElringKlinger on the transaction, which remain subject to regulatory approval.

Pohla & Hallmagi Advises F & A Kinnisvara on Acquisition of Residential Development Project in Estonia

Estonia

Pohla & Hallmagi has advised F & A Kinnisvara, a member of the Favorite Group, on its acquisition of a residential development project near Tallinn. The unidentified sellers were reportedly advised by Cobalt.

Cobalt Successful for Helmes in Challenges to Successful Public Procurement Bid

Estonia

Cobalt has successfully represented Helmes, an international custom software developer, in disputes regarding the public procurement process for "Development and Maintenance Services for Collection App Software" organized by Estonia's Information Technology Center of the Ministry of Finance.

The Buzz in Belarus: Interview with Darya Zhuk of Cobalt

Belarus

The political situation in Belarus at the moment is “quite challenging,” says Darya Zhuk, the Managing Partner of Cobalt’s Minsk office, referring to the fallout from the August 9 presidential election. “People have been protesting in the streets since the election,” she says, and discontent about the results of that election are being felt “deep inside every sphere of society.”

Dentons and Rymarz Zdort Advise on Aviva Investors' Sale of Wroclaw Business Park Warehouses

Poland

Dentons has advised Aviva Investors on the sale of two warehouses in the Wroclaw Business Park to an unspecified construction company managed by Griffin Real Estate. Rymarz Zdort advised the buyer on the deal.

Real Estate Acquisition Finance: Latest Trends in Closing the Deal in Romania

Briefings

This article is an excerpt of Producing in CEE, Dentons’ guide to tax and financial incentives for film, television and digital media production.

Greenberg Traurig and Dentons Advise on Hines's Acquisition of Logistics Facility in Wroclaw

Poland

Greenberg Traurig has advised Hines Pan-European Core Fund on the acquisition of a mezzanine warehouse facility in Wroclaw from GLL Real Estate Partners. Dentons advised GLL Real Estate Partners on the deal.

EPAM Advises TA Associates on Investment in Netwrix

Russia

Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners, working alongside lead counsel Goodwin Procter, has advised TA Associates on an unspecified investment in Netwrix Corporation.

White & Case and EPAM Advise on Aeroflot’s Equity Capital Increase

Russia

White & Case has advised VTB Capital as the sole global coordinator and bookrunner on PJSC Aeroflot's fundraising of more than USD 1 billion. Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners advised Aeroflot on the deal.

EPAM Successful for Ilya Averyanov in Murder Trial

Russia

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has successfully defended Ilya Averyanov, the former owner of the Menshevik Confectionary in South-Eastern Moscow, in a trial involving charges that he murdered a guard at the factory.

Turkish DPA's Announcement on Cross-Border Data Transfers

Turkey

Turkish Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) published an announcement in October 26, 2020 regarding cross-border data transfers. The purpose of the announcement seems to be providing a general response and the Turkish DPA’s views to the criticism and feedback received from private sector and academic institutions regarding the difficulties in cross-border data transfers.

Constitutional Court’s Decision on Inspection of Employees’ Correspondences on the Corporate E-mail Account

Turkey

Turkish Constitutional Court granted a decision (“Decision”) on September 17, 2020 regarding an applicant’s claims on violation of right to request protection of personal data under right to privacy and freedom of communication due to inspection of correspondences on corporate e-mail account and termination of employment contract on the grounds of these correspondences.

Turkish Competition Authority on Examination of Digital Data during On-site Inspections

Turkey

The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) recently published its Guidelines on Examination of Digital Data during On-site Inspections (“Guidelines”), which set forth the general principles with respect to the examination, processing and storage of data and documents held in the electronic media and information systems, during the on-site inspections to be conducted by the TCA. According to the recitals of the Guidelines, the TCA deemed that it was necessary to determine and set out these relevant principles, in light of the recent amendment to Article 15 (“On-Site Inspections”) of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”).

The New Specifics in the Underground Natural Resources Act

Bulgaria

The energy sector is a key one in the practice of Georgiev, Todorov & Co Law Offices and we constantly follow the changes in the regulations related to the production, transformation, distribution and use of energy resources in the country and the EU.

Changes to the Medicinal Products in Human Medicine Act

Bulgaria

On 28.07.2020 in the State Gazette vol. 67, the latest amendments to the Medicinal Products in Human Medicine Act were promulgated (SG vol. 31 of 13.04.2007, last amended and supplemented SG vol. 67 of 28.07.2020) (the ‘Act’), which aims to create the preconditions for the implementation of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161 of 2 October 2015 supplementing Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council by laying down detailed rules on safety features appearing on the packaging of medicinal products for human use  (“Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161”), including optimization of the control over pharmacies. Summary information about the changes can be found below.

Georgiev Todorov & Co. Advises Office Sgradi EOOD on Acquisition of 50% of On-Clinic Bulgaria AD

Bulgaria

Georgiev Todorov & Co. has advised Bulgaria's Office Sgradi EOOD on the purchase of 50% of the shares of Medical Center-On Clinic Bulgaria AD from the Netherlands-based On Clinic Advanced Medical Institute B.V. The seller was reportedly advised by Israel's Epstein Rosenblum Maoz.

Tax Reform 2020: How to Prepare for the Change

Ukraine

The majority of the latest tax changes in Ukraine are based on the best tax experience throughout the world, especially on the BEPS Plan which Ukraine undertakes to implement. The Tax reform prescribes novelties to transfer pricing rules; new rules for preventing from double tax treaties abuse; new rules for preventing from avoidance of the status of permanent establishment and taxation of permanent establishments; etc.

Is There Still Any Future for Renewable Energy in Ukraine?

Ukraine

In the summer of 2020, Ukraine’s renewable energy market underwent another string of changes, this time mainly because of the “green” tariff reduction. After more than six months of negotiations, “green” energy investors and the government managed to reach some consensus on how to protect the market against the default of the State Enterprise Guaranteed Buyer (hereinafter – Guaranteed Buyer) which was initially reflected in the memorandum on the so-called “green” tariff restructuring and later found its own legislative settlement.

The Government Has Resolved the Issues on Launching the Authorized Economic Operators

Ukraine

On July 29, 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Resolution “On Certain Issues of Functioning of Authorized Economic Operators”. The Resolution aims at regulating all the formalities for the comprehensive launch of authorized economic operators (hereinafter referred to as the “AEO”) program in Ukraine.

Payment and Electronic Money Organisations Association

Turkey

On 28 June 2020 issue of official gazette Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association Statute is published and with that Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association is formed. Pursuant to Article 7 of this statute, “All payment and electronic money institutions are obliged to become a member of the association within one month after obtaining an operating license. Organizations that do not fulfill this obligation by the association shall be notified to the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey."

Announcement for the Articles of The Turkish Code of Obligations Related to Workplaces Lease Agreements

Turkey

The articles of the Turkish Code of Obligations No.6098 (‘’TCO’’) had been postponed for workplaces lease agreements. It will be entering into force on July 1,2020 for office leases. The articles of the TCO will come into effect if not postponed again. This is known to cause considerable effects to the ongoing office lease agreements.

Mehtap Payne Joins Guden Law Firm as Head of Maritime Law

Turkey

Mehtap Payne has joined Turkey's Guden Law Firm as its new Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Maritime Law.

Integrites successful for Dominioni in Unfair Competition Claim

Ukraine

Integrites has successfully defended the interests of Dominoni, an Italian manufacturer of agricultural machinery, in an unfair competition claim made to the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.

Integrites Successful for AKW Ukrainian Kaolin Company Before the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine

Ukraine

Integrites has successfully represented the interests of AKW Ukrainian Kaolin Company before the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine regarding an alleged infringement by the rail operator in the Vinnytsia region of Ukraine.

Integrites Successful for Orlen Lietuva in Ukrainian Customs Dispute

Ukraine

Integrites has successfully defended Orlen Lietuva in a UAH 1.5 million dispute with the Zhytomyr office of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.

A Breakthrough in the VAT Treatment of “Public Purpose” Investments

Hungary

The European Court of Justice has just put an end to an uncertainty that has weighed heavily on the pockets of property developers for years. Not only did it confirm that the VAT on what are known as “public purpose” investments can be deducted, but also that the obligatory transfer of ownership of such investments does not give rise to a VAT liability even if the investment is essential for the developer’s own economic activity.

VAT Ninjas Enjoy an Advantage – Reclaiming VAT on Bad Debts Isn’t Easy

Hungary

Reclaiming VAT on bad debts under the new 2020 rules may well conjure up images of a TV show obstacle course.  Initial experiences suggest that anyone trying to reclaim VAT will be up against the wall. But the undertaking isn’t unfeasible.

Goodbye Brand Service Centres, Goodbye In-store Customer Service Desks – Warranty Rules Set to Change

Hungary

Who hasn’t queued at the in-store customer service desk to have their warranty stamped? Who hasn’t spent hours figuring out which brand service centre to take a faulty product to? And there are many more, similar nuisances we could add. However, changes in the warranty regulations are set to put an end to these from next year. But what’s good for consumers represents a major additional burden for vendors.

Jankovic Popovic Mitic Helps BASF Implement GDPR Best Practices

Serbia

Jankovic Popovic Mitic has helped chemical company BASF implement GDPR best practices in Serbia.

New Financial Aid to Legal Entities Through Recapitalization

Serbia

The Government of the Republic of Serbia has adopted a new Decree on the conditions and criteria for compliance of state aid through a recapitalization of market participants, to eliminate disturbances in the economy caused by the epidemic of COVID-19 on 23 October 2020.

The Obligations of the Travel Organizer for Fulfilling the Contract Terminated due to Virus SARS-CoV-2

Serbia

The First Primary Court in Belgrade recently rendered the first ruling obliging the tour operator to refund the client the travel costs to traveling abroad canceled due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus epidemic.

JSK Advises on Sale of TKZ Polna to Rose Investments Group

Czech Republic

JSK has advised shareholders Petr Janu, Jan Zvonik, Ladislav Partl, and Jiri Trcka on the sale of TKZ Polna, spol. s r.o. to the Rose Investments Group.

JSK and Noerr Advise on R22's Acquisition of Czech Communication Provider ProfiSMS

Czech Republic

JSK has advised Poland's R22 Group on its acquisition by auction of a 100% stake in ProfiSMS s.r.o. and its two Czech fully-owned subsidiaries, Axima SMS Services s.r.o. and SMSbrana s.r.o. The sellers – Net Brokers Holding, which is owned by the Bauer Media Group – were represented by Noerr.

Baker McKenzie, JSK, and Urban & Hejduk Advise on Acquisition of GoPay by Worldline

Czech Republic

Baker McKenzie’s Prague office has advised Worldline SA/NV on its acquisition of a 53% of stake in Gopay. JSK and Urban & Hejduk advised the seller on the deal.

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates, Karanovic & Partners, and Jadek & Pensa Advise on Pfizer Spin-Off and Merger with Mylan

Croatia

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has advised Pfizer on a global business combination with Mylan N.V. The transaction involved a spin-off of Pfizer’s Upjohn business and a subsequent merger of that business with Mylan N.V. to form a new global generics company, called "Viatris." Bird & Bird was global lead counsel to Pfizer, with Karanovic & Partners providing local support for Serbia and Jadek & Pensa providing local support in Slovenia. 

MPR Partners, D&B David and Baias, and Karanovic & Partners Help J. Christof E&P Services Obtain Merger Approval for OMV Petrom's Outsourced Services in Romania and Serbia

Deals and Cases

MPR Partners has helped J. Christof E&P Services S.R.L. and Christof Private Firefighting Services S.R.L. provide notification to Romanian and Serbian competition authorities of the economic concentration arising from OMV Petrom’s externalization of several operations and general surface services ancillary to extraction and production of petroleum as well as natural gas, together with the relevant assets and dedicated staff. D&B David and Baias and Karanovic & Partners provided advice to J. Christof E&P and Christof Private Firefighting Services.

Interview with Milena Roncevic Pejovic, Independent Attorney at Law in Cooperation with Karanovic & Partners

Montenegro

“As much as we don’t want to deal mess with politics – it seems to be messing with us,” says Milena Roncevic Pejovic, Partner and Head of the Montenegrin practice at Karanovic & Partners. “Montenegro is waiting for the new government to form, and until that happens, everything is on hold, more or less.”

Introducing the Newly Formed National Data Asset Agency

Hungary

The Hungarian Government, in order to join the world in data asset management and to set data economy in action in Hungary, has established the National Data Asset Agency, which commenced its activities on 1 October 2020.

Hungarian DPA Releases Guidance on Body Temperature Measurement

Hungary

On 14 October 2020 the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (NAIH) has released its guidance on body temperature measurement in relation to COVID-19.

Hungarian Advertisement Tax – Opinion of the Advocate General Has Been Released

Hungary

In 2014 Hungary introduced the advertisement tax as a direct business tax that must be paid by media content and service providers and publishers of advertisements. The tax base is the net sales revenue originating from the taxable activities in the tax year, i.e. the turnover and not the profit, and a progressive tax rate was established originally with six tax rates between 0% and 40%. After several amendments, since 1 July 2017 the tax rates were 0% up to HUF 100 million and 7.5% for the portion exceeding this amount. From 1 July 2019 the advertisement has been temporarily suspended and the tax rate was decreased to 0%.

The Buzz in Slovenia with Uros Cop of Miro Senica and Attorneys

Slovenia

“The new Slovenian Prime Minister was elected by the National Assembly on March 13th, just as the crisis was picking up in this part of Europe,” says Uros Cop, Managing Partner at Law Firm Miro Senica and Attorneys, in Ljubljana. “Fairly quickly, the new Prime Minister formed a team of ministers, which was confirmed the following week by the Parliament – we were in luck that this process went smoothly.“

The Corner Office: How Do You Manage Your Team Working Remotely?

Legal Markets

In The Corner Office feature of CEE Legal Matters we ask Managing Partners at leading law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. In light of current events, the question for this online occurrence of the feature is: "How are you managing your team working remotely during this challenging period?"

Can EU Member States Protect Vital Air Routes After the Bankruptcy of National Air Carriers by Subsidizing Those Routes?

Slovenia

Slovenian national air-carrier Adria Airways is one of many European airlines that filed for bankruptcy in 2019. While passengers with planned trips and prepaid tickets were left to their own ingenuity, the Slovenian Government worried about the effects of Adria Airways’ bankruptcy on Slovenia’s air traffic and important airline connections from Ljubljana Airport to other important cities and regions.

Changes to the Romanian Pharmacy Law

Romania

Pharmacy Law no. 266/2008 (the “Pharmacy Law”) was recently amended by Law no. 243/2020 approving the Government Ordinance no. 4/2018 amending and supplementing the Pharmacy Law no. 266/2008 which was published in the Official Gazette of Romania no. 1042 (“Law no. 243/2020”). The new amendments entered into force on November 9, 2020.

MPR Partners, D&B David and Baias, and Karanovic & Partners Help J. Christof E&P Services Obtain Merger Approval for OMV Petrom's Outsourced Services in Romania and Serbia

Deals and Cases

MPR Partners has helped J. Christof E&P Services S.R.L. and Christof Private Firefighting Services S.R.L. provide notification to Romanian and Serbian competition authorities of the economic concentration arising from OMV Petrom’s externalization of several operations and general surface services ancillary to extraction and production of petroleum as well as natural gas, together with the relevant assets and dedicated staff. D&B David and Baias and Karanovic & Partners provided advice to J. Christof E&P and Christof Private Firefighting Services.

Latest Changes in the Legislation on Consumer Protection

Romania

Law no. 12/1990 on the protection of the population against illicit production, trade or services (“Law 12/1990”) was adopted during Romania’s transition from a socialist economy to a market economy. Thus, the Romanian State was then still involved in the forming of retail prices, as the pattern of forming these prices in accordance with a market economy was not yet well established. However, 30 years have passed and Romania has developed to a full-sized market economy, where prices are formed based on demand and supply.

Summary of Rules Governing Foreign Acquisitions in Strategic Companies

Hungary

During the state of emergency in the spring Gov. Decree no. 227/2020 (“Gov. Decree”) was introduced to require the notification to the Minister of Innovation and Technology (“Minister”) and the acknowledgment by the Minister as a condition to certain foreign investments in Hungarian-based companies. Following the end of the state of emergency subchapter 85 of Act LVIII of 2020 (“Vmtv.”) prescribes the rules applicable to foreign investments which are mostly similar to the rules established by the Gov. Decree.  However, in some matters the Vmtv. prescribes different rules. Now, certain provisions of the Vmtv. have been amended and supplemented by Act CIV of 2020 and the amendments have entered into force on 30 October, 2020.

The New Rules Applicable to the Measurement of Body Temperature at the Workplace

Hungary

In order to prevent and restrain the spreading of the new Coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”), after the virus appeared in Europe, plenty of employers and other institutions has started to apply instruments suitable for the measurement of the body temperature.

The Buzz in Hungary: Interview with Peter Berethalmi of Nagy es Trocsanyi

Hungary

“The most important thing right now is that the state of emergency was terminated,“ says Peter Berethalmi, Partner at Nagy es Trocsanyi in Budapest.

M&A Deals During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Turkey

COVID-19 has swiftly become a global outbreak, affecting not only people’s lives but also the global economic conjuncture. Like most countries, the Republic of Turkey, has adopted several measures to eliminate or lessen impacts of COVID-19 on the economy. With this article, we will provide an overview of the Turkish legal market and key legislation enacted during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nazali Tax & Legal Opens Office in Ukraine

Ukraine

Nazali Tax & Legal has opened a new office in Kyiv.

Turkey: Save the Date for IYS Registration – Extended Deadline and Recent Updates on Commercial Electronic Message

Turkey

In Turkey, a local and centralized commercial electronic communication management system (IYS) for obtaining, exercising, and tracking opt-in/opt-out requests as well as complaints from recipients of electronic commercial communications was established under the supervision of the Ministry of Trade, the competent authority, in line with recent amendments to the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages. Also, a company has been incorporated solely for the establishment and management of IYS on behalf of the institution authorized by the Ministry (IYSCo).

Simplification and Elimination of Bureaucracy for Certain Operations

Romania

Law no. 223/2020 on simplifying and eliminating the bureaucracy involved in transfer of shares and payment of share capital by amending Romanian Companies Law No. 31/1990 (“Companies Law”) was published in Issue no. 1018 of the Official Gazette of Romania dated 2 November 2020 and entered into force on 5 November 2020.

Romania: Mandatory Teleworking and Adjusting Employees' Work Schedules

Romania

Two normative acts have recently been adopted that establish a teleworking obligation:

Hungary: Major Regulatory Changes Coming for the Automotive Sector – Increased Requirements for OEMs

Hungary

Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important, especially in the automotive industry, which is reinventing itself. Connected cars, autonomous systems, electric cars and personal mobility systems all rely heavily on software. Today’s car has about 300 million lines of software code (compared to an average PC operating system’s 40 million) which makes it vulnerable to various cyberattacks. No unified regulatory framework or even technical standards currently exist.

Kinstellar Advises on Acquisition of Floreasca Park Office Complex in Bucharest

Romania

Kinstellar has advised a joint venture of Resolution Property and Zeus Capital Management on its acquisition of the Floreasca Park office complex in Bucharest from GLL Real Estate Partners.

No Dull Year in Banking

Romania

The decade that just ended brought significant changes to the banking landscape in Romania. The banks were pushed to restructure their loan portfolios, consumer litigations increased exponentially, the cost of business increased, and Fintech companies started (although timidly) to take a slice of the pie. Populist legislation was enacted to protect consumers years after banking services were contracted. And a wave of acquisitions forced by the increased costs led to changing rankings at the top of the banking sector.

Romania’s Real Estate – Old and New Challenges in Transactions

Romania

A popular meme these days is “<<2020 is the year I am going to…>> 2020: <<Hahaha. No.>>”.

EDPB's Roadmap For Data Exporters (Considering Schrems II Implications)

Poland

In its recent judgment C-311/18 (Schrems II) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) undermined, to a certain extent, the principles established in previous years for the transfer of personal data outside the EEA, in particular to the US. Many exporters, i.e. controllers and processors transferring data to third countries, were surprised by the verdict and left in confusion. Fortunately, the European Data Protection Board (EDP) came to the aid and adopted recommendations on measures that supplement transfer tools to ensure compliance with the EU level of protection of personal data.

Life after Schrems II

Poland

On the 11 November, the EDP adopted two sets of recommendations giving our a total of 10 steps to ensure safe data transfer (whether these steps are easy or not, remains to be seen):

The Buzz in Poland: Interview with Agnieszka Pytlas of Penteris

Poland

The two major issues in Poland at the moment, according to Agnieszka Pytlas, Managing Partner of Penteris in Warsaw, are the lockdown necessitated by the second wave of the Covid-19 crisis and the ongoing protests against a ruling by the country’s top court in October that amounted to a near-total ban on abortion.

The Legal Entity’s Right to Not Contribute to Self-incrimination

Romania

Although nowadays there are more and more situations in which legal entities are called to criminal responsibility for a wide range of offences, the criminal liability of a legal entity remains an incomplete and insufficiently regulated institution, which is why the current reality has known numerous practical inconveniences.

Changes to the Judicial Activities of the Romanian Courts of Law as a Result of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Romania

Like any other state in the world, Romania has been confronted in recent months and is still confronting with the atrocity of the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19. Since the outburst of the rapidly spreading virus, all resources available were mobilized to effectively contain it and to repair the economic and social damage brought by the pandemic.

Former Judge Constantin Branzan Joins Popescu & Asociatii

Romania

Long-time Romanian Magistrate Constantin Branzan has joined Popescu & Asociatii's Litigation and Arbitration Department in Bucharest.

Obligation to Document the Cost of Transportation To and From Work – Yes, It Is Still in Force

Serbia

At the beginning of 2019, employers and employees disapprovingly accepted a new obligation to document the cost of transportation to and from work and the situation is no different today.

COVID-19 Update: Mandatory Appointment of Corona Controller

Serbia

By the Regulation amending the Regulation on measures for prevention and suppression of infectious disease COVID-19, which was published in the Official Gazette of RS no. 126/2020 dated October 23, 2020, the Government of the Republic of Serbia introduced the mandatory appointment of person – corona controller by certain legal entities and entrepreneurs.

Notice to Employers Regarding Annual Leaves

Serbia

Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs („the Ministry“) on October 15, 2020 published a notice for employers regarding the duration of annual leave, in order to eliminate doubts that some employers have when employee is on paid leave during the calendar year or is temporarily unable for work in the terms of health insurance regulations.

The Buzz in Ukraine: Interview with Dmytro Fedoruk of Redcliffe Partners

Ukraine

Ukraine local elections, held on October 25, 2020, resulted in a setback for the country’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whose party did not secure a single mayoral position in any of the major cities. This did not surprise Dmytro Fedoruk, Partner at Redcliffe Partners in Kyiv, who notes that Zelensky “was not elected for his experience, but rather for his good intentions.” 

Redcliffe Partners, Clifford Chance, A&O, Akin Gump, and Asters Advise on ED&F Man Debt Refinancing

Ukraine

Redcliffe Partners and Clifford Chance have advised ED & F Man Treasury Management plc, the treasury management arm of ED & F Man, a UK-based international commodities trader, on Ukrainian law aspects on the refinancing and restructuring of nearly USD 1.5 billion of debt and raising an extra USD 320 million in working capital. Allen & Overy and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld advised the scheme creditors and note-holders, respectively, and Asters advised the unidentified lenders on Ukrainian law aspects of the deal.

Redcliffe Partners Advises Hurma System on Financing from Pragmatech Ventures

Ukraine

Redcliffe Partners has advised Ukrainian HR tech product manufacturer Hurma System on seed financing from the European venture capital firm Pragmatech Ventures.

The Possible Increase of the Limit Is a Legislative Matter

Czech Republic

The District Court of Liberec as plaintiff called into question the constitutionality of Section 138 Par. 1 of the Criminal Code that determines the property damage threshold after which criminal liability arises. The Court concluded that the regulation contradicts Art. 40 Par. 6 of the Charter, which stipulates that the criminality of a fact must be determined and the punishment must be decided according to the law that is in force at the time when the crime was committed. More recent laws should be applied when it is beneficial to the offender.

One Step Closer to Class Actions

Czech Republic

A European Parliament press release from the 22nd of June about agreement on the revised text of the directive on representative actions has raised hopes for the swift finalization of legislation on class actions (“representative actions” in European jargon) on an EU level. The directive, which is part of the new concept of consumer protection – the so-called New Deal for Consumers – was introduced more than two years ago, but due to the strong response to the first motion and the fact that bringing about European class actions is overall a tricky process, it is only this year that some significant progress has finally been made.

NGL Symbio Law Firm Alliance Prepares for Operational Launch in CEE

On the Move

The NGL Symbio law firm alliance has announced its creation in five countries of CEE, and its plans to be fully operational by January 1, 2021.

Will the Fortune in Cryptocurrencies be Officially Recognized in Serbia?

Serbia

In October 2020, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia published the first draft of the Law on Digital Property (“Draft“) and put it for open discussion. Below we present you with a short overview of the proposed Draft:

Register of Healthcare Institutions Now Operating Before the Business Registers Agency

Serbia

As of 12 October 2020, the Register of Healthcare Institutions is kept at the Business Registers Agency of the Republic of Serbia (“SBRA”), in accordance with the new Health Care Act, which entered into force on 11 April 2019. This means that health care institutions have the obligation to register in the Register of Health Care Institutions, which is kept at the SBRA as of today. In addition to this register, SBRA will keep a single record of entities in health care, which will contain consolidated data on health care institutions and private practice on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

Key Changes to the Serbian Public Procurement Act

Serbia

On 23 December 2019, the National Assembly adopted the Public Procurement Act (‘’Official Gazette of RS’’ No. 91/2019 – hereinafter the “PP Act”) that started to apply as of 1 July 2020. The PP Act replaced the previous version of the Public Procurement Act and introduced numerous novelties that significantly change the public procurement landscape.

Hot Practice: Andras Gyorgy on SBGK's Data Protection Practice

Hungary

SBGK’s busiest practice over the last few months has been Data Protection, according to Partner Andras Gyorgy, driven by both the COVID-19 pandemic and, more importantly, by fines for GDPR breaches raising awareness among companies.

Boglarka Borbely, Adam Gyorgy, Krisztian Osztopani Promoted to Partner at SBGK

Hungary

Hungarian lawyers Boglarka Borbely, Adam Gyorgy, and Krisztian Osztopani have been promoted to Partner at SBGK.

Hungarian Authority Gets a Boost in Enforcement Against Large Retail Chains

Hungary

On 20 March 2015 the Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA") imposed a staggering fine on Auchan for abusing its significant market power. The HUF 1.06bln (approx. EUR 3m) fine is the highest ever imposed by the authority for the infringement of the Trade Act (Act CLXIV of 2005 on Trade). Although the decision is from 2015, the Hungarian courts put an end to the judicial review only now. The Supreme Court of Hungary has upheld the HCA's decision in its entirety.

Kurzarbeit – Vision and Current Situation

Czech Republic

Since this spring, the Czech Republic has been struggling with the coronavirus SARS CoV-2. The response to the pandemic in the field of labour law was the creation of the so-called Antivirus programme, which aimed to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic by providing a state-backed financial contribution to salary costs. This should prevent mass redundancies and keep unemployment levels under control. Schemes A to C of the Antivirus programme were created on an ad hoc basis as an immediate response to the negative effects of the pandemic.

Schoenherr Advises Doosan on Investment in Hungarian Production Facility

Hungary

The Budapest office of Schoenherr has advised Doosan on its EUR 210 million investment in its copper foil production base in Tatabanya, Hungary, for the construction of another factory on the location. 

The Buzz in Romania: Interview with Charles Vernon of Vernon David

Romania

“Covid has really sucked all of the air out of everything,” begins Vernon David Partner Charles Vernon. “From a legislative point of view things are a bit boring right now,given the imminent parliamentary elections that are due on December 6, everything has been pretty much at a standstill, except for Covid of course.” 

RTPR Advises Innova Capital on Acquisition of PayPoint in Romania

Romania

RTPR has advised Innova Capital on its acquisition of PayPoint Services and Payzone from the PayPoint Group.

Compliance in Romania

Romania

Regardless whether you are a new start-up hoping to become the next “unicorn” or a renowned international corporation, Romania’s ever-changing business and legal environment will impose various issues and hurdles upon your organization’s compliance and ethics culture. From BP’s USD 20.8 billion fine for the Deepwater Horizon accident, to Volkswagen’s USD 14.7 billion fine for false diesel emissions, to Airbus’ USD 4 billion fine for bribery and corruption, keeping a company on the right side of the law and reducing employee malfeasance is always a challenge. 

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